Saturday, 27 August 2016 09:14

Olympic reject Harrison out to make a point

American sprint hurdler Kendra Harrison is aiming to better her own world record to wrap up a season in which she missed out on going to the Rio Olympics.

Harrison, speaking ahead of the Diamond League meet in Paris, failed to qualify for the US 100m hurdles team, finishing sixth as she fell victim to her country's incredible strength in depth in the event as the three women chosen swept the podium in Rio.

But she went on to break the 28-year-old world 100m hurdles record of 12.21sec in London last month with a time of 12.20.

Harrison showed her form in Lausanne on Thursday, clocking 12.44sec to win in another US sweep, finishing ahead of Dawn Harper-Nelson, the 2008 Olympic champion and 2012 silver medallist, and Jasmin Stowers -- both of whom also didn't make it to Rio.

"I'm a bit rusty because I haven't competed for a few weeks with not being in Rio," said Harrison, with both Harper-Nelson and Stowers also lining up in Saturday's Diamond League meet in Paris.

"I want to show the world that I should have competed at the Olympic Games.

"I think I can still improve my personal record," she said, adding: "I think sub-12 is possible for me."

Harrison admitted that watching the Olympics on television had been "tough".

"It was tough watching it but that was something that I needed to do and something that I wanted to do. I wanted to still cheer my teammates on," she said.

Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali and Kristi Castlin swept the medals in Rio, seemingly vindicating the notoriously cut-throat US selection process.

"I knew that they'd do great in Rio," Harrison said. "I was thinking that there would be a 1-2-3 and I'm very happy for them.

"It only made me hungrier and to keep focusing on what I need to focus on.

"Watching the Olympics, I trained even harder. I went back to the weight room, I went back to the hard 200 repeats, that kind of thing. So I'm definitely in the shape of my life. I'm excited for the future."

Harrison added that her "confidence is definitely up".

"To be 23 and already have the world record feels awesome. I'm only going to keep working harder."

AFP -- OmRiyadat